Special Colloquium

A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?
Zach Weinersmith, illustrator and writer for Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

February 26, 2024
11:00am in LA4-120

Zach Weinersmith


Earth is not well. The promise of starting life anew somewhere far, far away—no climate change, no war, no Twitter—beckons, and settling the stars finally seems within our grasp. But is humanity bound for Mars? The answer is... complicated. In this talk, we summarize four years of weird research from an attempt to answer this question. We investigate whether the dream of new worlds won’t create nightmares, both for settlers and the people they leave behind and explore everything from planetary geology to sex in space to the legal theory of off-world state creation, and much more.

See also: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

artist's vision for an underground Martian city
Fig. Vision for an underground Martian city.

The Colloquium is a unique opportunity for students to learn about new developments in physics and what physicists do after they graduate. Hosted by the Physics and Astronomy Department at California State University, Long Beach, the weekly meetings invite guests from universities, research laboratories, and industry to present and discuss current topics in physics. All students are encouraged to attend for a well-rounded experience and training in physics.

Colloquium Coordinator

For information and suggestions about the colloquium please contact the colloquium coordinator:

Dr. Alex Klotz


The following is the schedule for Spring 2024.

Upcoming Colloquia
Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
February 26, 2024 A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through? Zach Weinersmith, illustrator and writer for Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
March 11, 2024 (topic: materials) Chandra Curry, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
March 18, 2024 (topic: biophysics) Omar Saleh, UC Santa Barbara
March 25, 2024 (topic: solid state physics) Luis Jauregui, UC Irvine
April 8, 2024 (topic: solid state physics) Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Rice University
April 15, 2024 (topic: astronomy) Smadar Naoz, UCLA
April 22, 2024 (topic: biophysics) Rae Robertson-Anderson, University of San Diego
April 29, 2024 (topic: particle physics) Juan Pedro Ochoa-Ricoux, UC Irvine
May 6, 2024 End of Semester Presentations Students, CSU Long Beach

Previous Colloquia

Previous Colloquia from This Semester
Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
February 19, 2024 Driving Quantum Matter to Extremes Dr. Sarah Grefe, CSU Long Beach
February 12, 2024 Solar System Archaelogy: Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Understanding Planetary System Formation and Environmental Science Dr. Gerardo Dominguez, CSU San Marcos
February 5, 2024 Assembly, Disassembly, and Mechanics of Entropic Colloidosomes Dr. Zvonimir Dogic, UC Santa Barbara
January 29, 2024 What Quantum Materials Can Reveal When Interrogated with Photoemission and Electronic Transport Probes Dr. Claudia Ojeda-Aristizaba, CSU Long Beach

The Colloquium Archive has the Colloquia from previous semesters.


We acknowledge with gratitude donations and support from the following present sponsors:

  • H.E. and H.B. Miller and Family Endowment
  • Benjamin Carter
  • American Physical Society
  • Anonymous

We also acknowledge with gratitude our past donors: The Forty-Niner Shops, Inc., The Northrop Grumman Foundation, Sandra Dana, Anonymous.

If you wish to support the Colloquium, please contact the colloquium coordinator or the department chair. Thank you!